May 17, 2011 Leave a comment
News flash! Donald Trump is not running for president in 2012. NBC pushed Trump to make a decision and reality TV won out over president of theUnited States. It was a month of bad timing all the way around for the Donald. First, he positioned himself as leading the birther campaign charge, which wasn’t the best PR move in the world; then President Obama goes and ruins the birther media frenzy by first releasing the long form of his birth certificate and second, finding and killing the most wanted terrorist in the world, Osama bin Laden.
If Donald Trump seriously did decide to run for president in 2012, he had more than hurt any chances of being taken as a true contender, but few believed that was really his intention. As he certainly seemed to prove with his decision, media exposure was his ultimate aim. Even before the birther fiasco, there have always been more potential minefields out there for Trump than for most candidates. He is now a Republican, but in the past he has been both a Democrat and a member of the Reform Party; in a book he wrote in 2000 he praisedCanada’s single payer health-care system. Not a stance that would give him much traction in the GOP. His affiliation with the Miss USA Contest would have most likely raised some Tea Party eyebrows and who knows what reporters and political opponents could have unearthed when digging into his casino and real estate dealings.
Did Trump seriously want to open himself up to such scrutiny? I doubt it, But he did find a way to keep himself and his TV show in the media, positioning himself as a may-be residential contender was certainly one way to keep himself in the spotlight. The real story is that regardless how big of a non-story he is, the media runs when he beckons.
Trump has been here before and this approach has served him well. It certainly helps his TV ratings, feeds his need of the spotlight and keeps him in the entertainment, financial and political outlets. But Trump made a poor media bet when he chose to take up the mantle of the birther movement.
Trump challenged President Obama’s place of birth on the “Today” show and on CNN’s “State of the Union,” despite the overwhelming evidence that the president was born in theUSA. Trump talked about the issue in interview after interview and reportedly met with anArizonastate lawmaker sponsoring a so-called “birther” bill.
“The reasonIhave a little doubt, just a little, is because he grew up and nobody knew him,” Trump said on “Good Morning America.” Palin praised Trump’s questions, although she stated the she doesn’t think the end result will show that Obama was not born in theUnited States.
Whereas jumping on the birther bandwagon offered Trump quite a bit of media coverage, it was a poor PR choice. It’s true that the hardcore birthers and others of that ilk embraced him, but that stance marginalized him in the mainstream. By pandering to that segment of society, Donald Trump once again positioned himself more as a reality show host than a serious presidential contender, which in fact is what he is.
Copyright © Anthony Mora 2011